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Old October 27 2013, 01:04 PM   #46
Death of Rats
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

sonak wrote: View Post
well, I guess I'm silly too, because the wikipedia article on childhood amnesia confirms that memories before three are extremely rare, that significant parts of the brain are still forming at that point, and that memories are encoded differently in infants than in an older brain.

So yes, memories can be formed at infancy, but my basic point is valid-memories before three are very rare, and the reasons are as I indicated- the infant brain is too different from the mature brain and is still forming.


Oh, and don't assume that the fact that you have a college degree or work experience or that you do some reading impresses me. None of those three things are exactly rare.
Wikipedia is not infallible. It's written mostly by laypersons and there have been quite a number of instances where bogus articles have been quoted numerous times before they were found out to be completely fake.
And even in you chose to accept the Wikipedia article as 100% true, said article still states that early childhood memories are rare, not that they never occur.
Purely statistically, given the number of posters on TrekBBS, it'd be rather surprising if neither of us had any memories from < 3 years.

And even if you dismissed this point, there still remains the fact that you yourself are able to chew, talk and walk, thus offering us the living proof that on a daily basis you apply the memory of at least 3 things you learned in your first year.
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Old October 27 2013, 09:21 PM   #47
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

Also, which I think is one of the important points that tsq was making, as soon as the end of the first paragraph and the beginning of the second, the Wikipedia article says:

Research has demonstrated that children can remember events from before the age of 3–4 years, but that these memories decline as children get older.

Research has shown that children have the capacity to remember events that happened to them from age 1 and before whilst they are still relatively young, but as they get older they tend to be unable to recall memories from their youngest years.
That really shoots down the notion that infants and toddlers are generally biologically unable to form memories. The reason that adult recollection of memories from so young is rare is not simply because the memories can't be encoded, but because they either become inaccessible or are erased years after they were formed.

That's really a significant departure from what sonak was initially asserting.
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Old October 27 2013, 09:27 PM   #48
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

This holds true in my case because before 1978 my residual memories are very few and far between. The memories don't start piling up in earnest until around the time I turned four and afterwards (the fall of 1978 forwards). After I turned four it quickly becomes a torrent of memories leading into my first days in school and so forth. I have very vivid and plentiful memories of the first Superman movie, ST:TMP, The Empire Strikes Back and the 1980 presidential election, and all four happened between age four and my sixth birthday.
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Old October 28 2013, 06:59 PM   #49
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

Closed Caption wrote: View Post
Also, which I think is one of the important points that tsq was making, as soon as the end of the first paragraph and the beginning of the second, the Wikipedia article says:

Research has demonstrated that children can remember events from before the age of 3–4 years, but that these memories decline as children get older.

Research has shown that children have the capacity to remember events that happened to them from age 1 and before whilst they are still relatively young, but as they get older they tend to be unable to recall memories from their youngest years.
That really shoots down the notion that infants and toddlers are generally biologically unable to form memories. The reason that adult recollection of memories from so young is rare is not simply because the memories can't be encoded, but because they either become inaccessible or are erased years after they were formed.

That's really a significant departure from what sonak was initially asserting.
Yeah, infants actually have excellent memories, both short and long-term (obviously, long-term in this case means several months to a couple years). This has been tested an confirmed countless ways over decades.
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Old October 29 2013, 12:02 PM   #50
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

indeed. I recall how my little sister used to beat me devastatingly every time we played memories. Frustrating.


This is slightly off-topic but as we have rather a lot of people here with very early childhood memories: are these memories good or bad ones? (I have a theory that traumatic experiences tend to get remembered better and would like to test if it's true or false).
My first memory is fear of death: my dad threw me up into the air and I was scared I'd get smashed against the ceiling. I couldn't tell him to stop because I couldn't talk sufficiently yet, so I think I must have been around 18 months. I remember that I screamed and he misinterpreted that as a cheer and went on and on.
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Old October 29 2013, 07:39 PM   #51
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

My very earliest memories are around 18 months. They are are pleasant memories to one degree or another. The day we got a kitten to simple things like playing with the hose, and even just eating breakfast. Nothing traumatic.

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Old October 29 2013, 09:38 PM   #52
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

My earliest memories was when I was a little over three years old. It was a funeral my mother's cousin in 1971. All I remembered was that my daddy was holding me throughout the service and at the cemetery.

My second earliest memory was the same year. I was barely four when I saw my little brother for the first time when my father and grandmother (her mother) pick my mother up from the hospital a few days after his birth. His face was freaky looking.

I was just getting used my other brother and now I have to deal with this little blob.
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Old October 29 2013, 10:06 PM   #53
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

This is all reminding me of an old joke (but only pieces of it).

Joe and Bill are talking about early memories. "I remember falling off the porch and landing on the dog when I was six months old," says Joe.

"Oh yeah?" says Bill. "I remember visiting Niagara Falls nine months before I was born."

""That's impossible," scoffs Joe.

"I remember it clearly," insists Bill. "I went up there with my dad, and came back with my mom."
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Old October 30 2013, 02:16 PM   #54
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

Hmm, earlies t memory... let's see...

I was older than 2 and less than 5, probably around 3, 3.5. My Mum took me down to a little creek beside the farmhouse we lived in just after we came to Australia. She had made me a fishing rod and line out of a curtain rod, some string and a hook you screw into the wall for said curtain rod. I dipped the hook into the water, and actually pulled out a spring from a chair.

What stays with me, all these years later, is my wonderful mother beside me, and the dappled sunlight coming through the trees, and my first real feeling of being an individual and so happy. It is one of my most precious memories, and I think it's the place I'll have my ashes scattered when I'm gone.
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Old October 30 2013, 02:56 PM   #55
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

My very clear memory from when I was two would be best described as bittersweet.
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Old October 30 2013, 03:51 PM   #56
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
indeed. I recall how my little sister used to beat me devastatingly every time we played memories. Frustrating.


This is slightly off-topic but as we have rather a lot of people here with very early childhood memories: are these memories good or bad ones? (I have a theory that traumatic experiences tend to get remembered better and would like to test if it's true or false).
My first memory is fear of death: my dad threw me up into the air and I was scared I'd get smashed against the ceiling. I couldn't tell him to stop because I couldn't talk sufficiently yet, so I think I must have been around 18 months. I remember that I screamed and he misinterpreted that as a cheer and went on and on.
It's an interesting question, and I've never looked at any research into it, so I have no clue what the answer might be. I think this would be a difficult question to research for a number of reasons. Firstly, it could never be prospective. Secondly, it would rely on self-reporting, and people's memories are terrible. Thirdly, I can't think of a good way to blind the study so as not to influence the subjects when they're "remembering". I suppose you could survey people for their, say, 3 earliest memories, and then try to objectively qualify them as traumatic or neutral -- but how do you know what was traumatic for the individual in question? Maybe after they'd recorded the memories you could tell them to qualify them themselves...I don't know, I still see a lot of problems with it.

This is why I gravitated towards the brain science aspect of psychology...I was frustrated as hell by the (totally necessary) infringement of ethics on research methodology; Social Psychologists: "Oh, we have a really great theory! But we can't test it because it would be unethical!"
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Old October 31 2013, 12:19 PM   #57
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

Good point. But aren't personal memories by their nature always something subjective, tainted by experience and other individual factors? Beyond the repetition of memorized of facts (such as school knowledge: alphabet, maths, poems etc) you could never get a completely objective information anyway. The fact that memories are something extremely versatile and individual is what makes the whole sector of memory-research so interesting. The general biochemical aspects are fairly well examined already but the rest is still a huge white spot on the brain map ("here be dragons" )
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Old October 31 2013, 03:49 PM   #58
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

^ And, each time you access a memory you alter it slightly. There's apparently no such as a read-only operation in the brain. At least, if I'm understanding things correctly. This can be a good thing though because there are therapies that use this aspect to lessen the effect of traumatic events.

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Old October 31 2013, 04:26 PM   #59
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

I've had what I thought were memories of things that happened when I was very young, but I have to wonder how much of that is genuine memories or just my mind building an image of what happened based off of glimpses of old photographs and so forth.

Likewise, I think I have memories of my Mom singing John Denver to me to put me to sleep when I was a toddler, and musical cues like that are powerful memory triggers, but I can't help but wonder if I'm actually remembering her singing or if I'm building an image based on her telling me that she used to sing to me to put me to sleep.
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Old November 1 2013, 09:09 AM   #60
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

John Lennon put it the other way round: which music you like or dislike depends on whom you kissed in the backrow of the cinema at 17.

While I have an excellent memory for melodies, for some reason I have no music-connected memories before the age of about 18 or 19. There are a lot of smells, though, that trigger my memories. The stench of cheap soft soap they used at my boarding school still makes me feel sick.
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